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From the periphery : real-life stories of disability
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From the Periphery consists of nearly forty first-person narratives from activists and everyday people who describe what it's like to be treated differently by society because of their disabilities. Their stories are raw and painful but also surprisingly funny and deeply moving--describing anger, independence, bigotry, solidarity, and love, in the family, at school, and in the workplace. Inspired by the oral historians Studs Terkel and Svetlana Alexievich, From the Periphery will become a classic oral history collection that increases the understanding of the lived experiences of people with disabilities, their responses to oppression, and the strategies they use to fight for empowerment.
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Booklist Review
In this series of brief chapters, human-rights lawyer Justesen summarizes her conversations with over 30 adults with disabilities. The interviews center around the premise of disability as a social construct, addressing instances of prejudice, discrimination, and dismissal. Although the types and levels of disability vary (physical, visual, auditory, cognitive, mental), many sentiments are expressed over and over: public treatment that fed into negative self-image and feelings of worthlessness; anger, rage, and denial; feelings of invisibility; and isolation. Additionally almost all of the participants bring up instances where their civil rights have been ignored. These miscarriages of justice occur in educational settings, housing, and the workplace, leading many to seek support groups and become involved in disability-rights activism. Not all the stories have happy endings. However, several interviewees mention finding self-acceptance, coming to terms with insensitive strangers and ignorant officials, developing coping mechanisms, and learning how to deflect condescending pity or being held up as an inspirational icon. These first-person narratives are eye-opening, honest, and compelling.--Kathleen McBroom Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Table of Contents
Foreword    Senator Tom Harkinp. xi
Prologuep. xv
1I Got Angryp. 1
I Felt This Rage    Marca Bristop. 3
I Just Never Could Get Angry Enough    Kiel and Renee and Ken Mosesp. 12
The Best Way to Cope Is by Being Angry    Jacky Dorantesp. 32
I'm Asked to Fight All the Time    Julie Schragerp. 39
2What I Mean When I Talk About Disabilityp. 45
We Are Less    James Charltonp. 48
An Aspect of Human Variation    Heather Gabelp. 54
3No One Sees Mep. 61
You're Literally Not Seen    Susan Nussbaump. 63
I Feel the Discrimination Like the Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts    Alissa Chungp. 68
I Felt Like Deaf People Were Invisible    Rachel Arfap. 74
4Embracing Disabilityp. 79
I Know People Now Who See Me    Timotheus Gordonp. 81
A Part of the World That We Don't Talk About    Matt Perryp. 86
A Liberation to Become Truly Blind    Pam Bermanp. 94
Disability as a Transforming Experience    Rene David Lunap. 99
5Alone at Schoolp. 105
You're Still a Person with a Disability at the End of the Day    Curtis Harrisp. 107
You Stupid Nigger Chink. Can I Catch What You Have?    Andrep. 112
Don't Let Anybody Sit Alone at Lunch!    Jennifer Wheelerp. 119
You Know Absolutely Nothing About Me    Erick Allenp. 126
6To Be Lovedp. 131
Shutting People Out Is What I've Done    Candace Colemanp. 133
Nobody Wants Me    Man Called Jp. 141
To Consider Me, Even Though I Couldn't See    Sharonp. 147
I Felt for a Very Long Time 1 Was a Monster    Rahnee Patrickp. 152
7There's So Much Dignity in Workp. 157
Society Cannot Get Over the Fact That I Have a Disability!    Susan Aarupp. 159
I Don't Believe in Giving Up    Allen Westp. 164
Somebody's Gonna Take One Look at My White Cane: Anonymous Womanp. 169
I Just Want Justice    Mary Rosenbergp. 174
8Out in Publicp. 181
I Wouldn't Tell Anyone    Fred Friedmanp. 183
It's Almost Like I'm Guilty Until Proven Innocent    Judyp. 190
You Don't Have Dwarf Phobia. You're Just a Bigot!    Gary Arnoldp. 195
9Independencep. 203
Just Like a Person    Michael Gricep. 206
I Want to Spread My Wings Too    Michelle Garciap. 210
But We Do Not Like Pity!    Edwin and Luisa and Alfredo and Alberto and Jose and Michellep. 219
10I Am Not Inspiringp. 223
I'm Going to Give Them a Show    Amber Smockp. 225
I'm Just a Regular Person Doing Regular Things    Keianna Parkerp. 231
His Existence Is Not Inspirational    Aaron and Birdy Holzmuellerp. 237
11If Nobody Thinks I'm Worthy, Maybe I'm Notp. 245
You're Not Important Enough    Mike Ervinp. 247
I'm Free from That Now    Kathianap. 253
Epiloguep. 263
Acknowledgmentsp. 269
Indexp. 271
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